What Does FYI Mean?

Learning updated on  September 5, 2023 3 min read

FYI is an initialism meaning “for your information.” It can be a noun or just a phrase tacked on to show you’re letting the reader know something.

Plenty of abbreviations that we use in digital communication, like ROFL and IRL, were invented within the last 20 or 30 years, but not this one. FYI, like IDK, has been around for nearly a century. We found it in a book about journalism published in 1935, but it was likely used in telegraph transmissions even earlier.

Read on to see examples of those uses in English writing today.

How to use FYI

You may wonder whether there’s a difference in what FYI means in text, email, or chat. The meaning is the same no matter where it shows up, but you can use FYI in a few different ways: as a sort of label for information, as a way to draw attention to a key detail, or as a way to introduce information that someone didn’t ask for.

Depending on the tone, FYI can make the person who uses it sound condescending or like a know-it-all, so many people add just in front of it to sound more lighthearted and casual.

FYI in email

FYI often appears in informative emails to make sure the reader knows about an important event or detail. It might be in the subject line, like in the first example below, or it might be part of a sentence. It’s usually capitalized to look more professional since that’s the correct way to write it.

Examples of FYI in email

FYI: Employees of the Month for June

Please read this FYI for parents and students.

All team members must provide account information—FYI, see the attached form.

FYI in text messages

Since texting is an informal setting in which people often care less about writing rules, FYI might be lowercased in text messages.

Examples of FYI in text messages

FYI, I’ll be stuck at work late tonight, don’t wait up

Need gochujang for that recipe, just fyi. Can u get some or should I?

Here’s that link I was talking about FYI

FYI in chat

Chat platforms are everywhere: standalone apps like WhatsApp, gaming platforms, tech support widgets on websites, and so on. In all of them, people often use FYI to pass along information. Like texting, chatting is casual, so FYI may be lowercased here as well.

Examples of FYI in a chat

Gotta get some homework done tonight, fyi. I’ll be afk

FYI, Amir said Prof. Chu is giving a pop quiz in history tmrw

I tried restarting the app, but it didn’t work. FYI, I do have the latest update.

While it’s usually fine to use FYI in professional settings, it’s not recommended in academic writing, which is even more formal and requires the highest level of clarity.

However, in both business and academic writing, QuillBot can help you communicate effectively by catching errors and offering helpful suggestions—just FYI.

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Is it correct to say “just an FYI”?

It usually sounds better to say “just FYI” because “just for your information” is grammatically correct. But since FYI can also be used as a noun, it’s not wrong to say “just an FYI.”

What can be used instead of FYI?

If you need a more formal phrase or you’re concerned about sounding condescending, you can try one of the FYI synonym phrases below:

  • Formal: I would like to inform you, please note that, please be aware that
  • Casual: just to let you know, letting you know, just a note that

Can I start a sentence with FYI?

Yes, it’s fine to start a sentence with FYI except in academic writing.


Hannah Skaggs

Along with Mitchell Allen

Hannah, a writer and editor since 2017, specializes in clear and concise academic and business writing. She has mentored countless scholars and companies in writing authoritative and engaging content.

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